Teachers to embark on 275km march

HARARE - Rural teachers are set to embark on a 275km march from Mutare to Harare in a protest to demand salaries in United States dollars and demanding higher bonus payment.

In a letter to Finance minister Mthuli Ncube, Amalgamated Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) secretary-general Robson Chere said they were going to walk for a staggering 10 days  from December 9 to 19 from the eastern city to the capital Harare.

“In terms of section 59 of the Constitution, teachers are going to march demanding that their salaries be paid in US dollars and that their bonuses be paid in full.

“Teacher’s salaries are being paid in RTGS, contrary to the 2012 negotiated agreement that salaries would be paid in United States dollars.”

Chere said the teachers will camp at the ministry’s offices until their issues are addressed.

“The teachers will camp at the ministry of Finance and Economic Development offices until their grievances are met,” he said.

“Artuz reiterates that it is open for dialogue with the employer to address the living and working conditions of teachers for the betterment of the education sector in Zimbabwe.”

The Artuz’s planned long journey will not be the first one done by the association.

In 2016, the leaders of the association did a 200-kilometre march from Mutawatawa in Maramba-Pfungwe, Mashonaland East Province, to Harare to demand the government to improve their working conditions.

They were stopped by the law enforcement agents and some of them were arrested.

This comes as doctors at the country’s public hospitals have embarked on a crippling strike.

The strike has come on top of worsening foreign currency, fuel and medicine shortages in the country, as well as ever-rising prices of basic goods — which is making life more miserable by the day for long-suffering citizens.

In March this year, dozens of placard-waving teachers and their union leaders stormed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s offices, where they handed over a petition demanding salary increments, among other demands.


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